Thursday, March 3, 2011


INDIA ( - Indian authorities expelled Russian Kirill Pomerantsev from the country. Pomerantsev has spent 15 years in India without a visa or any identity papers.  Pomertantsev’s story is unique not only because he has been living illegally in India without identity papers for 15 years, but because those 15 years have been spent as a cave-dwelling hermit near Manali, in Himachalan Pradesh. Neither the police nor local authorities were aware of his presence.  “Indeed, I have spent 15 years here in India. My mind and heart were immersed in the Indian religion. I was 27 or 28 years old when I made the decision to remain here. Now I am 42 or 43,” he says. “I was advised that if I wanted to achieve progress in my religious pursuits, it would be best to spend 12 years in the wilderness in order to reflect and read Hindu religious literature. This would make spiritual progress possible”, explains the Russian Hindu.

Pomerantsev explains that in addition to the food he was given by local people, he also ate greens that he picked in the woods.  ‘I would get up at five in the morning, have a wash, meditate, drink some tea, clean the house, perform puja (ritual worship) and study literature.  I can read Hindi, a language that I have taught myself’, explains the former hermit, who does not know what he will do back in Russia.  He is reluctant to talk about his past.  “I completed my military service, and then bought a flat. I didn’t have my own family and I’ve been leading a life of abstinence since I was 26. I live alone. We are born alone and we die alone”, Pomerantsev says.

Kirill Pomerantsev has spent 15 years living in a cave as a hermit near Manali, in Himachalan Pradesh, without a visa or any identity papers, and without any relatives in India.  “There are no issues in the wilderness. The local people are extremely kind; they helped me in every way possible, sharing their potatoes, beans and flour with me.  I used the flour to make chapattis”, notes the Russian.  According to the Russian Embassy in India, Pomerantsev’s story is, indeed, astonishing.  Sadhus are not rare in India, but what surprises to international journalists is that a Russian leads a life of a hermit in the caves and follows the religious traditions could have given rise to controversy among the local population, which did not happen.

Shiva and Rama and Rama's servant Hanuman all belong to this mountain, and this forest. On temple walls, on tree-trunks and precipice walls, the hermits who live in the rocky caves have written God's name in large letters: Rama, Rama, Rama ... This name means giver of joy. ... The mountain is pitted with caves and grottos where yogis and ascetics, since time immemorial, have lived and meditated day and night.  Mt. Abu is enveloped in legends. In some of the old sagas about the gods, it is said that Abu is the son of Himalaya. ... Near one of the many heights there is a row of underground caves, which had been hewn into a temple in ancient times. There in the darkness the ruler of the transitory world has her throne. Her name is Arbuda. The whole mountain was originally called Arbuda, which is one of the many names for Maya. ... The great Maya, ruler of the earth and servant of God, steeped out to the sphere of heaven down into the darkness of earth.

Walther Eidlitz (Śrīpad Vāmana Dāsa) :
"Unknown India" - Chapter VII - "Pilgrimage in Himalaya"

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